Monday, June 22, 2009

Here's a shocker

Newsflash, Republicans don't support national health care:

Proponents say the option of a public plan in the marketplace would put a brake on costs and check the power of insurers. But Republicans, insurers and many business leaders say a government plan could drive private insurance companies out of business.

Okay, raise your hand if you give a shit. And that's coming from somebody who's all about private enterprise.

It is encouraging to see Schumer getting behind the public option, albeit meekly.

Shifting Phase

Been a while since I used my e-bow. Or my bi-phase. and then used it all with delay, too.

Feels good.

The Opposition

It's not enough to have voted last November. If you want health-care to change (particularly if you, like me, think the public options is necessary to achieving actual reform and many other goals, including saving money in the long run), you need to speak up and call your senators.

If you don't want anything to change, looks like you're all set, with the GOP and a good number of congressional Dems all lined up against a plurality of the country:

And yes, I mean Democratic senators. The Republicans, with a few possible exceptions, have decided to do all they can to make the Obama administration a failure. Their role in the health care debate is purely that of spoilers who keep shouting the old slogans — Government-run health care! Socialism! Europe! — hoping that someone still cares.

The polls suggest that hardly anyone does. Voters, it seems, strongly favor a universal guarantee of coverage, and they mostly accept the idea that higher taxes may be needed to achieve that guarantee. What’s more, they overwhelmingly favor precisely the feature of Democratic plans that Republicans denounce most fiercely as “socialized medicine” — the creation of a public health insurance option that competes with private insurers.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ron Paul is a Liberal and a Pussy

For sure:

I rise in reluctant opposition to H Res 560, which condemns the Iranian government for its recent actions during the unrest in that country. While I never condone violence, much less the violence that governments are only too willing to mete out to their own citizens, I am always very cautious about "condemning" the actions of governments overseas. As an elected member of the United States House of Representatives, I have always questioned our constitutional authority to sit in judgment of the actions of foreign governments of which we are not representatives. I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little. And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran.

Of course I do not support attempts by foreign governments to suppress the democratic aspirations of their people, but when is the last time we condemned Saudi Arabia or Egypt or the many other countries where unlike in Iran there is no opportunity to exercise any substantial vote on political leadership? It seems our criticism is selective and applied when there are political points to be made. I have admired President Obama's cautious approach to the situation in Iran and I would have preferred that we in the House had acted similarly.

I adhere to the foreign policy of our Founders, who advised that we not interfere in the internal affairs of countries overseas. I believe that is the best policy for the United States, for our national security and for our prosperity. I urge my colleagues to reject this and all similar meddling resolutions.

The Real Swine Flu

WaPo Haz It:

To be a real establishment journalist (objective), you're not allowed to say when one side is lying -- even when they are. All you're allowed to do is repeat what both sides say and leave it at that (Colbert: "The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home"). Froomkin -- unlike David Gregory -- believes that reporters should actually point out when the Government is lying. That's what he did. That's why, to The Post, he wasn't a real reporter but, rather, an "ideologue." That's the sickness of American journalism in a nutshell.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Your Merit-Based Society

Promotions For the Pure at Heart:
From the start, the rendition team suspected that his case was one of mistaken identity. But the C.I.A. officer in charge at Langley—the agency asked that the officer’s name be withheld—insisted that Masri be further interrogated. “She just looked in her crystal ball and it said that he was bad,” a colleague recalls. Masri says that he was chained in a freezing cell with no bed, and given water so putrid that he could smell it across the room. He was threatened and stripped, and could hear other detainees crying all around him. After several weeks, the C.I.A. officer in charge learned that Masri’s German passport was not a forgery, as was originally suspected, and that he was not the terror suspect the agency thought he was. (The names were similar.) Even so, the officer in charge refused to release him. Eventually, Masri went on a hunger strike, losing sixty pounds. Skeptics in the agency went directly over the officer’s head to Tenet, who realized that his agency had been brutalizing an innocent man. Masri was released after a hundred and forty-nine days. But the officer in charge was not disciplined; in fact, a former colleague says, “she’s been promoted—twice.” Masri, meanwhile, has been unable to sue the U.S. government for either an apology or damages, because the courts consider the very existence of rendition a state secret—a position that the Obama Justice Department has so far supported.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ben Franklin gets written up

You know what doesn't suck? Getting a good review!

From last week's show at Europa, which really was just a surprisingly great time.

Monday, June 08, 2009

NYC's Parking Clusterfuck

There was an interesting segment on the Brian Lehrer show this morning on the notion of a Residential Parking Permit program for NYC. The comments thread is quite interesting, if a tad reactionary, but I enjoyed participating a little bit and reading the other comments.

I would say that RPP is a bullshit solution to the wrong problem. People are going to have cars, for some people mass transit isn't a good option (think old people and stair cases and long walks late at night in the winter), and some people will always drive no matter what because that's just how they are.

I don't think we should punish people in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens who own cars any more than we already do. It really sucks to own a car here. I've personally been reducing NYC's debt burden with street cleaning fines. I never use the damn thing, I love mass transit, and I love my bike and walking. I'm relatively young (for now) and spry, what can I say.

But, why are we actually talking about ways of reducing commuter travel by car to the city when we're reducing MTA service at the same time? You can't keeping cutting back service on the G line and expect people to not drive from Brooklyn to Park Slope. How the hell are you supposed to get around? MTA service in Brooklyn sucks, entirely, and it's getting worse. That's why people have the cars to begin with.

WWDC Predicitions

  • Vanity
  • Posturing by John Gruber
  • More limitations and lockdowns
  • No Steve Jobs
  • Pimping of the idiotic Push Notification Service

We Need a Better Senator

Charles Schumer will give head for money:
Mr. Sheils estimated that only 12 million people with private coverage would migrate to a public plan if Congress provided protections for insurers, along principles suggested by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York. Seeking to broker a deal that might attract Republican support, Mr. Schumer is promoting many of Mr. Nichols’s proposals, including that a public plan be subject to the same regulations as private plans and that it pay providers at higher levels than Medicare.
Just to be clear, what Chuck is proposing is gutting the public plan so that it won't do the good thing we'd want it to do: use our awesome bargaining power to drive better rates.

And a single-payer system is off the table, too. God forbid everybody has to pay in to a health insurance plan. These folks like to rant and rave about how it's wrong to force people to pay for it, but they still expect someone to take them to the hospital if they get sick or hurt, and they expect to be treated even if they can't afford it.

They have no problem paying taxes to kill people in other countries, but heaven forfend paying a tithe to insure you can get decent medical care. A tithe too many people already pay too much into, to support everyone else, to little good effect.

I wonder how our "Universal" health care system is really going to turn out. Sounds like the big companies see a similar opportunity to "change the rules" in this historic moment for a long time to come.

Fucking assholes. Fuck you, Chuck.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Who Counts?

The nay-sayers:

77 members in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They support a single payer health care plan. 51 Blue Dogs. They don't. Who is on your teevee? In your news weekly?

"Not on the table."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fuck Yeah, Europa!

Last night? That's why I play music. Gigs like that.